Astronomy curricula for different ages and cultural backgrounds


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Astronomy curricula for different ages and cultural backgrounds

  1. 1. Astronomy curriculafor different ages and cultural backgroundsEUNAWE GERMANYDr. Cecilia Scorza,Haus der Astronomieand Centre for Astronomy (ZAH)Heidelberg University
  2. 2. 1. Guidelines from the developmental psychology2. Mythical and scientific thinking in the UNAWE approach3. Astronomy and cultural environment4. Astronomy for very young children (ages 4-6)5. Astronomy for children (ages 6-8)6. Astronomy for children (ages 8-10)7. SummaryContentEUNAWE GERMANYAstronomy curriculafor different ages and cultural environmentsCosmic Africa
  3. 3. 1. Guidelines from the developmental psychology„Mental models“ (Vosniadou) vrs. „Fragmentary knowledge“ (Nobes)A very interesting comparison study „Culture and children´s cosmology“ carriedout in Australia (59 children) and England (71 children) ages 4 to 9(Siegal, Butterworth and Newcombe 2004)EUNAWE GERMANYSummary: „Knowledge of the Earth is not easily adquired by direct experience andobservation, but instead through learning from is appropriate to expose youngchildren to scientific concepts about the Earth early on to ensure that they have the beststarting point for developing a full understanding of the planet, and its place in the Universe,later on in life”. (Siegal, Nobes and Panagiotaki, Nature Geoscience, March 2011)vrs.
  4. 4. Mythical thinking: is natural, universalInspiring, fascinates and fosters observationalskills  Very important for UNAWE because ofthe preservation of cultural roots andintercultural workGoals:• Inspire young children and stimulate their interest in science and technology.• Show them that nature can be interrogated by rational means.• Foster global citizenship and tolerance via intercultural activities.2. UNAWE: linking mythical and scientific thinkingEUNAWE GERMANYScientific thinking: can be learnedThe search after causal relations (why and howphenomena occur), hypothetical thinking,observations, experiments and explanations.Venus transit 2004UNAWE
  5. 5. EUNAWE GERMANY„For it is owing to their wonder that men at first began tophilosophize…the lover of myth is in a sense a lover ofwisdom, for myth is composed of wonders“Aristoteles"Myth is truthful, but figuratively so. It is not historical truthmixed with lies; it is a high philosophical teaching that isentirely true, on the condition that, instead of taking it literally,one sees in it an allegory.“Paul Veyne, history professorThe inspirational power of these images…a golden doorto intercultural education and observational skills!Throught out: show astronomical objects under amythical and astronomical view
  6. 6. EUNAWE GERMANYThe story of Thebe Medupe. He was born in a poor village outside Mmabatho in SouthAfrica. His first contact with astronomy was beside a fire place where the elders toldSetswana stories about the stars….3. Astronomy and cultural environmentThe fascination that astronomy exerts on children is cultural independent!Dr Medupe: "I went ahead and built my telescope. I was 13 years old at the time.The first time I looked at the moon with it seeing craters, mountains and valleys Iwas hooked. Thats when I knew for sure that I was going to become anastronomer."
  7. 7. EUNAWE GERMANYStreet children in Colombia (2006)Los Andes, Galileomobile 2009UNAWE TanzaniaUNAWE India
  8. 8. EUNAWE GERMANY4. Astronomy for very young children (ages 4-6)• Observational skills: what the children are able to see by themselves• Classification activities and the naming of objectsUNAWE-GermanyWe see (and remember) what we can name!
  9. 9. EUNAWE GERMANYStarting point: The moonAstronomy for young children (ages 4-6)It is multicultural!It can be seen from the city or from the countrysideIt can be seen during the day and nightIt changes it´s form  observational skillsIt has a spherical shape (like our Earth)It is amazing to see with a telescope
  10. 10. EUNAWE GERMANYThe Moon„Mythical eyes“ „Scientific eyes“Astronomy for young children (ages 4-6)A moon labReflectedlight!!
  11. 11. EUNAWE GERMANYVisiting the moon…Space explorationx
  12. 12. EUNAWE GERMANY• No „up“, no „down“, everywhere space!• The „iluminated“ Earth (day and night)• Identification figures: perspective change• No explanations but dialogues and stories!The EarthAstronomy for young children (ages 4-6)Pretend playUNAWE-GermanyPretend play
  13. 13. EUNAWE GERMANYMérida, VenezuelaVenezuelaIndiaTanzania..Expose young children to scientificconcepts about the Earth early on…
  14. 14. EUNAWE GERMANYOur star, the SunThe crocodile that swallows the sunMyths ObservationsAstronomy for young children (ages 4-6)Sunlight phenomena:Light and shadowsThe Sun as a heat sourceThe Sunlight and life on Earth
  15. 15. EUNAWE GERMANYOur neighbours, the planetsEmphasis on: colours, special features (red spot in Jupiter..), sizes and namesAstronomy for young children (ages 4-6)
  16. 16. Myths, stories and more stories Recognizing some bright constellationsEUNAWE GERMANYAstronomy for young children (ages 4-6)The world of the constellations / visual memory
  17. 17. Intercultural educationwith „Lunik and Sonja“ (E.Ts)Lunik and Sonja are foreigners…They need our help,They don´t speak our laguage!We can learn a lot from them.We can show them our world.EUNAWE GERMANY
  18. 18. EUNAWE GERMANY5. Astronomy for children (ages 6-8)• Linking astronomical phenomena with our own lifes / Biographies of astronomersBuilding the scientific mind: from pretend play via models to first explanations• Observational skills: what the children are able to see by themselves• Day and night cycle (time!, hours), the moon phases , our calender• The relative sizes of the sun and the moon at the sky• The path of the Sun• Reading, understanding and imagining… (more and more stories)Observing and explaining by means of models
  19. 19. EUNAWE GERMANYAstronomy for children (ages 6-8)• The Planets: more detailed modelling,characteristics and relativ sizes of the planetsTheir movement around the Sun.Space exploration• Identification of more constellations(according to the time of the year)together with myths and storiesUNAWE- Kenya
  20. 20. Biography of astronomers Max Wolf in HeidelbergSophia Appl Scorza (age15 )
  21. 21. Nord America NebulaMax Wolf
  22. 22. Landessternwarte (Heidelberg Observatory)University of Heidelberg
  23. 23. EUNAWE GERMANY6. Astronomy for children (ages 8-10)• The „parallel“ Earth• The eclipses• The seasonsObservations and abstract thinking: models and explanationsHeidelberg (Natalie)• The relative distances of theplanets and their movementaround the sun (orrery)Observations of the SunExperiments
  24. 24. EUNAWE GERMANYAstronomy for children (ages 8-10)• The visibility of the constellations along the year.• How to find the planets on the sky.•The apparentshape of theconstellations•The brightest stars in the constellations (Sirius, Rigel, Capella…)•Their colours, relative brightness and sizesGetting deeper into more details….
  25. 25. EUNAWE GERMANYThe stars of our Milky Way and our cosmic adressAstronomy for children (ages 8-10)•The lifes of the stars•Other Solar systems (exo-planets)
  26. 26. EUNAWE GERMANYAstronomy for children (ages 8-10)PerformancesMérida, VenezuelaHeidelberg
  27. 27. Ages Skills Topics4-6 Classification and naming of objectsObservations: the moon, sun, bright constellationsListen and imagine… (stories and more stories)Playing roles / intercultural educationClassification of astronomical objectsmoon, comets, asteroids, planets, sun, stars, galaxies.First modelling of the Earth, Sun , Moon and the planetsSpace exploration6-8 Linking astronomical phenomena with our own lifesObservations: the moon, the sun (filters!), the planets,constellationsReading, understanding and imagining:Inspiring children with biographies of astronomersDay and night (time and hours), the moon phases ,The moon and our calender,The relative sizes of the sun and the moon at the sky.The planets: relativ sizesRecognizing constellationsSpace exploration (Surviving on the Moon.)8-10 Abstract thinking, models, explanations, firstquantificationsObservations: the moon, the sun (filters!),the planets, constellationsInspiring children with biographies of astronomersThe parallel EarthThe bounded movement of the Earth and moonThe seasons, eclipsesThe planets: relative distances and their movementaround the sun (horaries)Direct observations of the constellationsFinding planets with the constellationsOther solar systemsOur home the Milky Way (model)The family of galaxiesThe life of starsSummary